Dates traveled: 3/25/17- 3/26/17
My best friend is getting married!
Melanie and I met a few weeks into freshman year and I won’t tell you the whole story because it’s a pretty embarrassing story but, the point of it is that I met the person who would become my best friend for going on 10 years. The last decade has been filled with Starbucks frappuccinos (something neither of us drink now), lunch from El Super Burrito, trips to visit each other during college, BBM messages (when they were actually cool), graduations, lessons in adulting, first loves, and more life milestones than I can count. The most beautiful thing about Melanie is that if she loves you, she will go to no end to make everything better. Whether we were 300+ miles away or oceans apart, she always made herself available to do whatever it took to make me feel better and loved. Melanie, this world is brighter and more beautiful place because of the endless amount of love you give to those you care about.
Melanie met Patrick when we were juniors in college and it didn’t take me very long to realize he was the one. When you see the two of them together you just think “could there be two people more meant for each other?” The answer is no, there really can’t be a couple that competes with the special bond they have. So, when the fateful day came that Patrick asked Melanie to spend forever with him, I was bursting with tears of joy! And when Melanie asked me to stand by her on her wedding day as a bridesmaid, well I just nearly lost it. I mean, my best friend is marrying the man of her dreams!!
But before the walk down the aisle, we celebrated her final days of being a single woman with a bachelorette party in Napa. On a warm day in March, Melanie and her entourage of 9 girls took to Napa for a fun-filled weekend of laughs, delicious food, oh, and lots of wine!
Where we slept:
The Westin Verasa - Katie, the MoH and the bride’s sister, hooked it up with a two-bedroom suite at the Westin Verasa. It was the perfect place to throw on a comfy robe, watch Bridesmaids, and put our feet up after a day of wine tasting.
The location of The Westin Verasa could not have been any better. It is walking distance to downtown Napa where you will find boutique shops and restaurants. It is also close to the Napa River which is the perfect place for a post-dinner walk.
The hotel is located across the Napa Wine Train which you could use to get from one winery to another if you do not have a DD. We opted to rent a party bus, because of course we would, and went with a local favorite, Deb from Driven In Napa Valley. Deb is the absolute best; she is professional, friendly, and knows how to have a good time. She has amazing connections and knows all the best spots. And, she’s a great photographer!
What we sipped:
Domaine Chandon - We started the day with champagne tasting at the beautiful Domaine Chandon. Is there a better way to start the day than with bubbles?
At Chandon, there was a lovely creek that went through the main entrance and breathtaking views of the countryside. The tasting room was pretty busy the day we were there but the space is so massive that it didn’t feel crowded. There are benches, tables and chairs scattered throughout the campus, all providing a fun and intimate experience.
Since we were a rather large group, we decided on two bottles of champagne, Brut and Rose, and found a nice spot under the trees to enjoy them.
Andretti Winery - Our second stop was at Andretti Winery. You guys, this place was a stunner! It reminded me a lot of the old Spanish style homes with the courtyard in the center, complete with a fountain. At Andretti, you can go to the main tasting room or head to the house in the back for private tastings and views of the countryside. We tried a selection of different red and white wines while laughing over our favorite Melanie and Patrick stories. It was the perfect way to end our day in Napa.
Where we dined:
Napkins - After Chandon, we went to Napkins for lunch before heading to our next winery. Napkins is a local bar + grill located in downtown Napa that serves American classics with a global flair. You can enjoy your food and wine pairing either indoors on our their heated patio. Their menu was pretty meat heavy but Napkins has no problem accommodating dietary restrictions and provided menu recommendations and alternatives to suit my vegetarian needs. The atmosphere was young and fun, ideal for a day with the girls.
Eiko - Sushi is my comfort food so you know I was excited for dinner at Eiko! Some people find comfort in mac and cheese, I find comfort in spider rolls. Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe.
The moment you walk into Eiko, you are greeted by a modern interior, Japanese influenced dining, and an overwhelming “I’m so cool for being here” vibe. You know which vibe I’m talking about. My favorite part was the Japanese characters that were wall papered up to the ceiling above the sushi bar.
From the design to the menu, Eiko provided a complete experience. They offered the usual rolls and entrees along with their signature dishes and variations on Japanese classics. And since our hotel was walking distance from the restaurant, we walked off our sushi induced food-babies on our way back to the hotel.
The Corner- What’s the best way to end a girls weekend? With a morning-after brunch, of course! We grabbed a table at The Corner, a local and tourist favorite located downtown along the Napa Riverfront. A restaurant by day and lounge by night, The Corner is serving brunch favorites with a Modern American twist and pairs them with hand-crafted cocktails, wines, and spirits. The interior of the restaurant is stunning. The exposed brick, tall ceilings, and beautiful behind-the-bar display was breathtaking even at 10 in the morning.
And least we forget the wine store! Close your eyes and picture a library. Now imagine all the books in the library were replaced with wines from around the world. You are now picturing The Corner’s wine store. Bottles of wine from local California wineries along with world-class fine and rare wine collections are housed inside a climate controlled cellar. It is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
Melanie’s bachelorette party was very true to who she is. The low key weekend was filled with good vibes, good people, and great wine. It was the perfect break from reality for some much needed girl time.
Now all there is left to is watch my best friend walk down the aisle to say “I do” to the man of her dreams. And dance the night away, of course!